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United States of America (Peak Oil 1996)

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The United States is one of the nations suffering the most from the passing of Peak Oil. With the people consistently losing rights year by year while the economy continues to crumble, it is in a sad state of affairs.

Pre-Peak

During the latter part of the 19th century, the U.S. became a major player in world affairs. After World War II, it became the pre-eminent power in the world, though the Soviet Union competed hard with it. The U.S. constructed massive superhighways that stretched across the nation, and at the same time, suburbs sprouted in every which corner of the nation like mushrooms after the rain. These suburbs depended on cheap oil. Their immense appetite for land yet low density created major problems that would only appear later. One major mistake was making people rely on the combustion engine to literally stay alive. Trips even to the supermarket could often not be walked on foot, or even ridden on bike. These supermarkets, and especially the big-box stores relied on fleets of trucks delivering perishable goods. If trucks somehow couldn't operate, supermarkets would be bare. Often, the distances involved were in the hundreds of miles. The destruction of productive farmland by massive sprawl moved the rural areas farther and farther away from the areas that less and less depended on them for food. Instead, the Great Plains and, increasingly, foreign countries were the sources of food that the coastal communities depended on.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it seemed to be smooth sailing. The "Pax Americana" was proclaimed. However, this feeling was short-lived as peak oil hit the booming nation.

Post-Peak

The United States didn't know how to react to peak oil. A lot of time that could have been used to temper the consequences was instead used arguing by special interest groups, with many companies maintaining for years after the fact that oil production would again increase. It never did. March 11th, 1998 was "Demand Destruction Day". On that day, there was a massive speculative attack on the dollar. Stocks plummetted, and by the beginning of April, the value of the dollar had toppled to only one-fourth of its previous value compared to most other currencies. This is the massive shock needed to get things done, but some still maintained that the so-called oil peak and these attacks had been orchestrated long in advance, and that these things couldn't have possibly been natural. In fact, geology could explain it.

On September 11th, 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center, as well as the Pentagon were hit by hijacked planes. Another crashed in Pennsylvania. The towers were completely destroyed. The U.S. government used this as an opportunity to restrain civil rights and attack the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq (the latter one having the second-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia). The attack of Iraq has been seen by many as a way to buy time. The U.S. desperately needed oil, and there was no way that it could have gotten enough with countries like China and India, and various European countries bidding for the same oil. However, this might have been a strategic miscalulation, as Iraq proved to be too unstable to conquer and various conspiracy theories arose to the effect that the United States had orchestrated 9/11 (MIHOP) or had let it happen on purpose (LIHOP). These theories, containing questions and charges still unanswered by the government, has severely hurt the U.S.'s image in the world and at home, even helping to prompt the secession of Oregon.

In addition to rational reasons for criticizing the leadership, a general irrational hatred of Americans reached a high mark in perhaps all of its history as other countries realized that the U.S. had taken the oil that they had had coming to them. The number of America-bashers hugely eclipsed the number of anti-war activists. It became "in vogue" to hate America, even as the atrocities committed by certain other countries (notably many Arab and African countries) during the same period were almost completely overlooked.

Americans came to not mind the name-calling, as they realized that their country would actually have to become the "villain" in order to survive intact for even a few more years. By 2003, the United States was wracked with famine, and for the first time perhaps ever, the number of migrants out of the country was larger than the number of migrants in. Taking their nearly worthless money to countries like Mexico which were in even more dire straits, they tried to get by. Many suffered violent crimes at the hands of the Mexican gangs that had nothing but antipathy for "El Gringo", and tried to get money any way they could.

In January of 2007, Oregon broke off from the U.S., citing "irreconcilable differences". The United States government has had an extremely antagonistic relationship with Michael Ruppert, the first and current president of Oregon, even before the split. The U.S. does not recognize Oregon as independent, though some nations do. The U.S. government is thought to be considering a military option, not so much because Oregon is important for their plans, but because similar movements are starting in the whole "Cascadia" region, and much more important than even that, Alaska (with its still large oil reserves) is thought to be contemplating a similar split. This, the United States would not allow. However, for now, the U.S. does not seem to want to risk military intervention. In this resource-scarce world of today, its better to pick your battles carefully. Currently, the U.S. military is overtly involved in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Arabia (trying to reverse the coup that took place and trying to secure its oil fields in the process).

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